The details are a bit sketchy, but a number of high profile Twitter accounts were hacked on Wednesday. Among the accounts hacked were Apple, Elon Musk and Joe Biden. Other accounts include Kim Kardashian West, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Wiz Khalifa, Warren Buffet, YouTuber MrBeast, Wendy’s, Uber, CashApp and others.
Read to the end to find the OMG part.
In this particular case, all the scammer wanted was money.
The scam went like this: If you send me a $1,000 in bitcoin, I will send you back $2,000. Only doing this for 30 minutes said Joe Biden’s account.
Needless to say, Biden did not send the Tweet, nor did fools who believed this too-good-to-be-true story get their money doubled.
Twitter acknowledged the problem just before 3PM Pacific Time on Wednesday, saying that they had a little problem.
Now comes the OMG part.
As Twitter tried to get their arms around how many accounts were compromised and how it happened, they locked down a number of high-profile accounts. Those accounts COULD NOT TWEET. WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?
Later in the afternoon Twitter said that things were getting back to normal, but they reserved the right to lock down more accounts if they needed to.
Just in case this is not obvious, this is not a case of a user picking a bad password.
Based on conversations others have had with hackers, backed up by screen shots, it appears this was an inside job. This is only speculation at this point.
The scam itself is pretty vanilla. What is brazen is hacking all of these high profile Republican, Democratic, multiple presidential candidates and other so-called “verified accounts”.
The Bitcoin account in question had racked up over a hundred grand by mid afternoon and going up quickly.
What if, instead of a stupid scam that no one SHOULD believe, the hackers instead Tweeted that the President had been assassinated or that China had launched a nuke aimed at Miami, Dallas and pick your least favorite city?
Ultimately, it boils down the speed that social media moves at and the trust that some people place in news pushed by social media.
Even if Jack Dorsey figures out what happened and I think it is likely that he will, it may be impossible to stop this from happening again.
This is definitely an example of “Buyer Beware”. Credit: Tech Crunch
A Little more information has come out but not a lot. Twitter is saying that rather than their employees being crooks, they are just stupid and were duped by the hackers. Not sure which is worse.
Apparently, Twitter has an internal tool that allows an employee to do things like change the email associated with an account with no notification and no validation.
Some people posted screen shots of the internal Twitter tool. Twitter’s solution to this “problem” was to delete those tweets and disable those accounts. Apparently, they don’t understand how the Internet works because with Google and 30 seconds, you can find ten copies of those pictures. We are still waiting for Twitter to come clean. That may have to wait for the lawsuits. After all, people did lose thousands of dollars each. Credit: Brian Krebs.
Here are some out of the box thoughts. – What if this was an effort by the North Koreans or Chinese? What if this was just a test run? What if this happened the day of the presidential elections? What if the hackers said that candidate [pick one] dropped out of the race, so don’t bother voting. If people are willing to send thousands of dollars of Bitcoin to a stranger in response to a Tweet, the above is not so far fetched.
Here is another thought. We the direct messages of all of those compromised accounts stolen? Are we going to see those DMs made public. Say right before the election. Shades of Russia/2016 election. Stay tuned.